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Author: MiguelDR

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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #183: Films to Watch at San Diego Asian Film Festival 2017!

Hello everyone! As you know, this is a horror genre podcast but it is also a film festival official podcast, and we are trying to increase our content that has to do with film festival missions and purposes from the start so let’s start with an element in the film festival world that I am particularly a proponent of: collaboration.

From my point of view, this is in the effort to serve two main purposes:

  1. 1. To promote the filmmakers of new innovative and exciting independent cinema
  2. 2. To build a community of general audience members who are smart, enthusiastic, and eager to learn more about the art of cinema
There are parts of our mission statement, and every mission statement that differ or go beyond those things, but I would say those are the two main umbrella purposes. In my view, we fill those needs better and with greater power when we work together, expose each other’s audiences to different types of films, and learn from each other’s experiences. Not only that, but I get the opportunity to experience a number of fantastic film festivals year in and year out, which is no small benefit!

This week includes one of the best here in San Diego. With their 18th year about to kick off on Thursday, November 9th, Pac Arts Movement’s San Diego Asian Film Festival has spent almost two decades celebrating Pan-Asian media arts and the creators of those arts with over a week of films, panels, discussions, and more. They also do year-round programs, work with schools in youth outreach efforts, and generally help with some much needed enrichment of San Diego Arts and Culture. I am happy to have my friend, the Artistic Director of Pac Arts Movement, Brian Hu here to chat with us about this year’s offerings. It is amazing to get him just one day before his madness begins, so thank you, Brian! 

In this episode, we discuss:
    What Brian Hu's role is in the San Diego Asian Film Festival
    The variety of films and the importance of genre
    How genre helps SD Asian Film Fest meet their mission statement
    MYSTERY KUNG FU THEATER
    A watch list for all of you!
    Other special programs

If you are not in San Diego, take these titles down to seek them out at a film festival near you, or perhaps even another theatrical run. If you are, you need to join us! Click Here for a complete program!

If you want to join us, here are our itinerarys:

Miguel:

Friday 11/10: 
2:15pm: Bad Genius at Ultrastar
4pm: Short Films: New Mutants at Ultrastar
6:15pm: Marlina the Murderer at Ultrastar
8:35pm: Before we Vanish at Ultrastar

Saturday 11/11:
1pm: Podcasting Panel at Marriott Mission Valley
2:40pm: Shopping for Fangs at Ultrastar
4pm: Animation at Ultrastar
8:40pm: Try to catch the first act of The Villainess
9:45pm: Caniba at Ultrastar

Sunday 11/12
Noon: Reel Voices Shorts at Ultrastar
3:45pm: Have a Nice Day at Ultrastar
6:30pm: Mon Mon Mon Monsters at UCSD Price Theater

Monday 11/13
4pm: Short Films: Where the Light at Ultrastar
9:40pm: Mystery Kung Fu Theater at Ultrastar (this is nonnegotiable for us all)

Tuesday 11/14
5:30pm: Birds without Names at Ultrastar
8:55pm Paradox at Ultrastar

Wednesday 11/15
2pm: Our Time will Come at Ultrastar
5:45pm: Shorts International Discoveries at Ultrastar
6:45pm: Cococolors (only 45 mins)
8:55pm: Dragonfly Eyes at DGC

Thursday 11/16
4pm: Short Films Disinherit Me at Ultrastar
7:50pm: Somewhere Beyond the Mist at Ultrastar

Sterling:

Saturday 11/11:
1pm: Claire's Camera
5pm: The Day After
9:45pm: Caniba at Ultrastar

Sunday 11/12
4:05pm: They
6:30pm: A Taxi Driver

Monday 11/13
4pm: Short Films: Where the Light at Ultrastar
7:35pm: Those Long Haired Nights
9:40pm: Mystery Kung Fu Theater at Ultrastar

Wednesday 11/15
6:40pm: Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno at DGC
8:55pm: Dragonfly Eyes at DGC

Thursday 11/16
6pm: A Day
7:50pm: Somewhere Beyond the Mist at Ultrastar

Friday 11/17
7pm: A Better Man at TheNAT

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is San Diego's largest film festival and premiere showcase of Asian American and international cinema. This year, SDAFF includes International, North American, and San Diego premiere screenings, filmmaker and artist Q&As, celebrity appearances, and exclusive events.

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #182: 2 Sentence Horror Stories

In a recent trend of referring to popular web based content as a means of retelling the modern horror story, the amount of viable source material to draw upon seems to expand in measure quicker than said supply can be depleted. We’ve seen Youtube provide us with creepypasta born series such as Marble Hornets and SyFy has tuned us in to Channel Zero for two consecutive seasons, as of this publication. Turning to the online populous for the darkest & most effective material has proven fruitful thus far, allowing for a welcomed and less-traditional narrative structure to be executed when necessary. But aside from the telling and retelling of now familiar internet urban mythos, we have many alternative avenues of unnerving narrative to adapt. Some that would, at first glance, appear far too modest in length to concisely rework as a compelling visual device. Yet, Independent voice and executive producer Vera Miao has experienced quite the opposite while doing just that.

Some, if not most of us, are familiar with the idea of 2 Sentence Horror Stories. For those who are not as acquainted with the idea, it couldn’t be more literal if we tried to make it so. These admittedly compact tales provide us with an entire feature’s worth of lore, all while keeping specifics at such a minimum, that we are already filling in these blanks with what our own psyche conjures up. It is upon finishing the climactic second half of these short stories that we swiftly find out how effective this simple literary device is at creeping us out. This of course allows for much room to spread one’s visionary wings, which Miao has done quite masterfully. Stage13, a subsidiary of Warner Bros Entertainment, has been the vessel to aid in Miao’s adaptation of this material, which has been delivered as a web based anthology series. As writer, show runner and occasional director of the series, this discussion describes the difficulties and blessings of working with a narrative so minuscule yet open-ended in order to derive an episodical end result. Another topic touched on is the fact that this series has been critical in the truthful on screen representation of varying culture, ethnicity and gender. This is admirably fitting, as in the year of Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele and Patty Jenkins, we also have Vera Miao’s 2 Sentence Horror Stories - an unsung chapter in an all around progressive year for cinematic diversity. 

All currently available episodes of 2 Second Horror Stories can be viewed for free by visiting www.Stage13.com. 

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #181: Halloween Watchlists to Make You Shudder!

We are less than a week from Halloween, the best year of the night for us horror fans, and if you are anything like me you are planning on filling your days with even more horror films than usual in celebration. With all of the new and unprecedented access to more film titles than ever before, we can spend just as much (or more) time combing through lists and trying to make decisions than we do actually watching our favorite movies. That's why it can be a lot of help to have some solid curators around.

In this episode I recruited two of the best curators around. The horror streaming service Shudder is the Halloween destination for all things horror, thriller and suspense. They distinguish themselves from other streaming services with a keen attention to film selection, categorization, and, of course, curation. Colin Geddes and Sam Zimmerman are very passionate about that curation job they do for Shudder, and I am happy to have them on this episode.

There was only one true mission here: we each created our own lists of films that we think are great for Halloween. I asked them for titles and to explain why they would fit specifically for this season, when we all know we watch horror year round. So, what are you waiting for? Get your pen and paper out to copy down these lists, prepare your nights for popcorn and frights, and (if you haven't already) subscribe to Shudder for some of the best horror around!

ABOUT SHUDDER: AMC Network’s Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving fans of all degrees with thrillers, suspense, and horror. Home to the largest and fastest-growing human-curated selection of high-quality, spine-tingling and provocative international and independent films, TV series, and originals, there’s always something new and unexpected for Shudder members to explore. Shudder’s expanding library is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland on the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox One, and Roku for $4.99/month or $49.99 with an annual membership. Join the Shudder community experience commitment-free for 7 days, visitwww.shudder.com.

Twitter @shudder | Facebook @Shudder | Instagram @Shudder | YouTube @Shudder
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #180: Rogue Artists Ensemble Puts YOU In A Japanese Ghost Story! Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin!

Oh boy, am I a sucker for a good Japanese ghost story. There is just something about them that resonates with me. I think it is the focus on spirits that exact a cruel form of justice and vengeance. The cold callousness mixed with an almost deserved karma. It speaks to me. I first read the English re-tellings of many of these ancient folklore by an author named Lafcadio Hearn, a sort of Brothers Grimm for Japanese supernatural stories, when I was in high school, and I have been entranced ever since.

So imagine my immediate interest when I heard that this Halloween season would introduce a new immersive haunt experience based on these stories! It is a magnetic and innovative DIY production from Rogue Artists Ensemble and East West Players called Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin.

Reggie Yip
Photo by Rebecca Bonebrake

In it, "you receive a letter from a woman who is haunted by a mysterious event in her past—and she needs your help. When you arrive at her family’s warehouse, you ascend to the fifth and sixth floors in a creaking freight elevator, followed by a voice that calls out through the shadows, drowning you in echoes of wells and engines and graveyards, in tangles of hair and snow, in sharp reflections of your darkest moments—a voice that may not be human."

I got the chance to interview the director Sean T. Cawelti, co-writer Chelsea Sutton, and Jasmine Orpilla, one of the lead actors of this piece, after experiencing it myself. I also wanted to get another perspective on the experience, so I invited my friend Kim Garland to co-host this podcast with me. She is a brilliant filmmaker in her own right, and you can check out her stuff here. I am happy to have her with me to give her account of the performance (and to protect me from ghosts)! This will be a spoiler free look at the process of bringing this atmospheric, creepy, and classic stories to life in an immersive way that encourages audience participation. I encourage you to check it out if you are anywhere near Los Angeles!

Jasmine Orpilla
Photo by Chelsea Sutton

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast 179: BONUS Storytime “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

In all the years I have done Storytime Edition episodes, I never did Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" because it just felt a little too obvious for some reason. I have been asked now for the third time to record a reading of it for the podcast, and I was even asked to read it in person to a friend recently. After all this, I am relenting. It is Halloween season, after all!

I first read this poem when, in the 6th grade, my dad took me to Poe's grave and the Poe house in Baltimore, Maryland. At the house, they sold all kinds of tourist knick knacks, but the thing I wanted was a copy of "The Raven" that looked like it was written in script on aged paper. I read that thing over and over again.

"The Raven" by Gustave Dore (1884)

In many ways, "The Raven" is a sort of city poem of Baltimore. Even their football team is named after it. This is all rather funny--some might say even appropriate--since the poem is all about life-crushing grief and unending loss. The agony of despair. It is also lyrical and beautiful, if not unapologetically melodramatic. I get a little melodramatic while reading it. I decided to record this with no sound effects or music. Poe's words are music enough. Enjoy!
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Horrible Imaginings Podcast #178: Start Halloween Season Right with Kill Creek Author Scott Thomas!

It is the last day of September, which means Halloween is knocking at the door and ready to fill our homes with all the scares that we have come to love since childhood. One of the classic Halloween images, of course, is that of the abandoned old haunted house silhouetted threateningly by a glowing full moon, promising the presence of phantoms and spirits just clamoring to chill our bones. Well, there is a brand new book hitting the shelves from Inkshares that gives us just the right kinds of Halloween-spirit thrills while throwing in some new twists, great characters, and even exploring the horror genre that we all love. That book is Kill Creek by first-time novelist Scott Thomas.

Mr. Thomas was kind enough to take a break from his day job at--of all places--The Disney Channel--to talk haunted houses, his love of all kinds of horror, writing his characters, and more! This is a SPOILER-FREE interview, so feel free to give this a listen and a share before heading to pre-order your copy on the Inkshares website!

Scott Thomas, Skyping in from his Disney Channel workroom to take a break from kids' shows to talk about things that go bump in the night!

Subscribe to the Horrible Imaginings Podcast right here. You can also listen here on Dread Central or on the Horrible Imaginings website. You can help keep the podcast, the film festival, and our horror community going for only $1 per month! Become a patron at our Patreon for exclusive content and perks! Find out about San Diego horror events on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube pages, and always stay scared!

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